Review: The Rules of Conception by Angela Lawrence

 

Title: The Rules of Conception

Author: Angela Lawrence

Published: MIRA: Harlequin Australia May 2013

Read an chapter sampler

Status: Read on May 03, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the Publisher}

My Thoughts:

Debut author Angela Lawrence explores a woman’s desire for motherhood in The Rules of Conception. Rachel Richards is in her mid thirties, single (again), financially secure and wanting to be a mother. Worried time is running out, she makes the choice to go it alone. Rachel begins to investigate her options, eventually choosing a ‘known donor’ but the conception of her plan turns out to be much easier than it’s execution.

I was intrigued by the premise of The Rules of Conception, primarily because I have a friend currently considering her options. Like Rachel, none of her relationships have worked out and as she approaches forty her biological clock is ticking ever louder. There are so many factors for her to consider and I hoped that Lawrence would provide some insight into the journey.

I found the viability of the varied options Rachel explores really interesting, from co parenting arrangements to the purchase of anonymous donor sperm from abroad. They each have their pro’s and con’s, raising issues I hadn’t given much thought to.
Eventually Rachel determines that a ‘known donor’ is the right choice for her and her search leads her to Digby, a man who wants to father a child but not raise one. Armed with a list of questions and a legal contract Rachel is sensible about the process in an attempt to control the situation, but her narrow focus doesn’t allow much room for variations of her circumstances.

What I do think the story lacked was emotion, Rachel is focused on her plans but there is no real sense of excitement or apprehension from her about the pregnancy, birth or her general circumstances until very near the end. She never seems to daydream about her baby’s future, muse about what he/she will look like or debate baby names neither does she seem concerned about the baby’s health or worry much about Digby’s honesty, even when he disappears. Most everyone is supportive of her decision and I think the story could have benefited by having a character to really challenge Rachel.

Most of the angst in the story involves Rachel’s relationship with her horrific boss, a situation that definitely evokes sympathy and which her pregnancy threatens to exacerbate, yet even that fizzles out to a bland truce.

The Rules of Conception is interesting, entertaining and I thought Lawrence wrote sensitively about the practical issues involved in the process of choosing single parenthood. It is a thought provoking story and as such I will be passing it on to my friend.

Available to Purchase

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: May 2013 Round Up: Contemporary Fiction | Australian Women Writers Challenge

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